Just Because It’s About You Doesn’t Make It Your Problem
Last week a team member quit one of my projects. The quitting happened right after an online exchange where they were being passive aggressive, and I wasn’t entertaining it. I point blank asked if they quit because of me, and I was told no, but that doesn’t feel true. And I trust my feelings.
I had a couple hours after the event where I felt like a failure. I mean, here I was, fresh off a year where I’d been called overdramatic, troublesome, irritating, and hard to be around by several people only to have yet another casualty the first month of the year. I sat there, spinning my wheels trying to figure out what the fuck my problem was that shit kept going sideways.
Then I realized that whatever the issue is, it’s not my problem.
It’s not my problem because I knew they were going to quit last year. I knew it because I watched how they operated and dealt with disagreement and conflict only to see that they didn’t deal with disagreement and conflict. They are a runner, so when shit gets rough and the only way to solve it is to work through it, their modus operandi is to either give in or leave and if giving in isn’t an option, all that’s left is leaving. So, they left and now I have a different issue to manage which is how to salvage that project…of if I even want to salvage it at all. What I do know is that he left because he and I don’t get along and he constantly felt attacked if I asked questions.
Then, this past weekend, that fabulous piece artist Marcus Williams created of my Afro Storm cosplay was shared in an online nerd group where it, and I, proceeded to be praised, ridiculed, and objectified to hell and back. I can’t speak for anyone else, but it is disturbing to have men talk about how they’d like to fuck comic me. The myriad of ways I could get it were surprising. But I guess that’s better than my very existence being diminished to “promoting obesity” because I am fat, wear form fitting clothes, and have the audacity to like how I look. I like it enough to take selfies. I like how I look enough to pose with photographers. I like how I look enough to post my pictures on social media, and I love how I look enough to commission art of myself and post that shit, too.
It is just fascinating to see how people will deny your fucking existence because they don’t approve of your looks. And I got to read a thread of barely coherent ideas on why the art I commissioned, depicting me in my cosplay, is terrible. And it kinda sucked. I’d learned early on into this being publicly online shit that people are gonna be terrible sometimes. And I’ve been lucky, and a little strategic by not seeking to be in the mainstream cosplay world and instead sit here firmly in my identity and to interact with people from this space, this pro-human rights space that does not tolerate bullshit. I mean, I’m never going to be popular and that’s actually fine because the more people see you, the more terrible people can shit on you. In fact, I don’t seek myself on social media until I notice an influx of followers or shares because that usually means someone outside of my network saw/shared something that led folks to me. I’ve been shared by ashy assholes and racist pigs more than once and after receiving a few waves of “white man’s whore” and “a fat nasty bitch who needs to be medicated” and other insightful opinions, I decided that it wasn’t any of my business what people thought about me.
That’s not 100% true, but it kinda is. I meet people all the time. Some are great, some are not. I like really getting to know people, so my interactions tend to be somewhat intense, and when I like you I hope you’ll like me back. But I don’t like everyone, and everyone doesn’t like me. Some people outright dislike me as much as I dislike them. And some people never hit my radar cuz there are billions of us and that would be impossible to remember everyone we’d ever met. And that’s fine. We aren’t met to know and love everyone. It’s an unrealistic expectation that I dropped a long time ago.
And the same applies to stuff I post online. Everybody isn’t going to like it, and that’s okay. I don’t even need to know who likes or dislikes anything I do. When I want to know what you think about something, I’ll ask. And unsolicited opinions are not always unwelcome, but it is better to ask first because, real talk, your opinion doesn’t need to matter to me…regardless of how close we are.
You can have a problem with me, and it not be any of my business, much less my problem. I don’t have to cosign on your issues with me. I don’t need your approval to live my life. I don’t need your say-so to do the shit I want to do. If we have a conflict, if somehow, I’m stepping on your human rights or autonomy, I would be happy to discuss that with you but if your issue is you don’t like seeing fat women in tight clothes? If your issue is that I don’t make you feel like a man? If your issue is that you don’t feel comfortable saying the shit I say or doing the shit I do? That bullshit sounds like a personal problem for you and you can keep that problem to yourself, especially as I probably didn’t ask.
Also, disingenuous questions about my health are just a possible opening for you to express your dislike about my looks, my anger, my willingness to call something bullshit, and my acceptance that some friendships ain’t meant to be. So how about you don’t fucking ask or bring it up. My size and my physical and mental health are not weapons for you to wield against me. They are not public domain. Even if I talk about it, you need to think about what and why you’re asking me about it. I’ve been down the road of “you sound so unhappy. Your rage is killing you.” No, bitch. Your passive aggressive, obvious attempts at manipulation are irritating and intrusive so how about you mind your business and figure out why you want to “help” me so badly. But mainly, mind your business. The people who have emotional access to me KNOW they have emotional access to me. And if they aren’t sure, they can ask about that rather than assume they know anything about who I am. Because being in the public eye doesn’t mean you know me. You know the one facet of me with which you chose to engage. Don’t make it more than it is. And regarding wanting to have sex with me…if by some off chance I did want to fuck you, it wouldn’t be the result of you posting your attraction on some random thread for all the world to see. Honestly, it’s fucking gross and y’all need to do better. Seriously. Do better.
If you know me and have a problem with me and want to resolve it, let’s fucking talk. Otherwise, it’s not my business what you think about me. I don’t care how you feel about me. And I refuse to make your problem my problem, even when your problem is about me. Because sometimes the problem you have with me is actually a problem you have with yourself; so rather than intrude into my world being an asshole, how about you explore those feelings a bit before approaching me with it. Because if you try to make your problem my problem and it’s really all about you…well, you’re not going to be ready for the truth bomb you just detonated. Trust me.
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